Monday, November 28, 2011


Declaration of the Occupation of New York City

This document was accepted by the NYC General Assembly on September 29, 2011
Translations: French, Slovak, Spanish, German, Italian, Arabic, Portuguese

As we gather together in solidarity to express a feeling of mass injustice, we must not lose sight of what brought us together. We write so that all people who feel wronged by the corporate forces of the world can know that we are your allies.
As one people, united, we acknowledge the reality: that the future of the human race requires the cooperation of its members; that our system must protect our rights, and upon corruption of that system, it is up to the individuals to protect their own rights, and those of their neighbors; that a democratic government derives its just power from the people, but corporations do not seek consent to extract wealth from the people and the Earth; and that no true democracy is attainable when the process is determined by economic power. We come to you at a time when corporations, which place profit over people, self-interest over justice, and oppression over equality, run our governments. We have peaceably assembled here, as is our right, to let these facts be known.
  • They have taken our houses through an illegal foreclosure process, despite not having the original mortgage.
  • They have taken bailouts from taxpayers with impunity, and continue to give Executives exorbitant bonuses.
  • They have perpetuated inequality and discrimination in the workplace based on age, the color of one’s skin, sex, gender identity and sexual orientation.
  • They have poisoned the food supply through negligence, and undermined the farming system through monopolization.
  • They have profited off of the torture, confinement, and cruel treatment of countless animals, and actively hide these practices.
  • They have continuously sought to strip employees of the right to negotiate for better pay and safer working conditions.
  • They have held students hostage with tens of thousands of dollars of debt on education, which is itself a human right.
  • They have consistently outsourced labor and used that outsourcing as leverage to cut workers’ healthcare and pay.
  • They have influenced the courts to achieve the same rights as people, with none of the culpability or responsibility.
  • They have spent millions of dollars on legal teams that look for ways to get them out of contracts in regards to health insurance.
  • They have sold our privacy as a commodity.
  • They have used the military and police force to prevent freedom of the press.
  • They have deliberately declined to recall faulty products endangering lives in pursuit of profit.
  • They determine economic policy, despite the catastrophic failures their policies have produced and continue to produce.
  • They have donated large sums of money to politicians, who are responsible for regulating them.
  • They continue to block alternate forms of energy to keep us dependent on oil.
  • They continue to block generic forms of medicine that could save people’s lives or provide relief in order to protect investments that have already turned a substantial profit.
  • They have purposely covered up oil spills, accidents, faulty bookkeeping, and inactive ingredients in pursuit of profit.
  • They purposefully keep people misinformed and fearful through their control of the media.
  • They have accepted private contracts to murder prisoners even when presented with serious doubts about their guilt.
  • They have perpetuated colonialism at home and abroad.
  • They have participated in the torture and murder of innocent civilians overseas.
  • They continue to create weapons of mass destruction in order to receive government contracts.*
To the people of the world,
We, the New York City General Assembly occupying Wall Street in Liberty Square, urge you to assert your power.
Exercise your right to peaceably assemble; occupy public space; create a process to address the problems we face, and generate solutions accessible to everyone.
To all communities that take action and form groups in the spirit of direct democracy, we offer support, documentation, and all of the resources at our disposal.
Join us and make your voices heard!
*These grievances are not all-inclusive.
We also have a visual representation of this document from the Arts and Culture Group and the Call to Action Working Group. To download your own copy of this image as a jpeg (12.7 MB), click here, or for image inquiries e-mail
Help Publish the Declaration of Occupy Wall Street


Media outlets have attempted to dismiss Occupy Wall Street as a movement without a message.  This baseless indictment falls apart once you have read their declaration, and this is why we think it is so important to publish it and distribute it widely!

We are going to need your help to reach our goal of printing and distributing 100,000 copies!  

This document is the first and only official declaration to come from the New York City General Assembly at Liberty Plaza, the epicenter of the Occupy Wall Street Movement.  It is a summation of the grievances expressed by the occupiers, it is a call to action, and moreover it is a historic mile marker in the global fight for social, environmental, and economic justice.  The Declaration of the Occupation of New York City, as transcribed and edited by Ryan Hoffman, Lex Rendon, and the Call to Action Working Group of Occupy Wall Street is a powerful reference for blossoming social struggles everywhere. In this second printing of 100,000 copies we will be including two other texts from the New York General Assembly,The Principles of Solidarity, and OWS' Statement of Autonomy, we also will be including a letter from the activists at Tahir Square to the Occupiers at Zuccotti Park. The Declaration of the Occupation, The Statement of Autonomy, and The Principles of Solidarity, are reflections of every voice amplified by the people’s mic at the NYC General Assembly at Liberty Square.  You own this document. ...Everyone owns it.


Andy Stepanian is the cofounder of the Sparrow Project (, a grassroots PR and creative consultation agency that champions activist endeavors and creative projects for social change. Andy also writes about activism and social justice for The Huffington Post. Andy has made appearances on Democracy Now!, has been featured in New York Magazine, The Nation, Arte TV, and WNYC. His creative work has been featured in Print Magazine.

Saturday, November 26, 2011


Guest blog!

When we suffer a tragic moment in our life it is difficult to believe anything positive is going to come from it. While we are in the middle of our crisis all we want is the solution that will take our pain away.

Many people, especially well meaning friends and family say all the right things, “sleep on it” “it will be better in the morning” “there is a reason this is happening, we just don’t know what that reason is yet” or “give it time.” The problem is, if I could sleep perhaps I would find out this was true. Waiting for the reason to show up is almost more than we can stand. When it is happening to us, we want to know the reason… now!

I am a believer in the Universal Laws especially the Law of Attraction. There is no doubt “we attract what we think about.” I have enough history to prove the Universe will bring exactly what we think about. If we say it out loud, giving verbal energy to it, watch out, the Universe will definitely bring it to us. Have you ever said, “Oh my, I just thought that or said that?” These are the reasons why I make sure the words coming out of my mouth, when I am searching for resolution to a crisis, are spoken in the most positive way even when I am angry or hurt. Although I admit that is not always easy.

At one point, the crisis I was facing forced me to sell my home and embark upon a journey that has taken me away from my children and friends for 17 months. I travelled over 60,000 km seeking confirmation that the Universe was working in my favour when all I could think about was how sad I was feeling and the Universe was evil.

Now I can see how it worked in my favour. Enough time has passed so that I can think clearly about my own crisis and I can see the reasons the Universe kept putting obstacle after obstacle in front of me, it kept me safe.

Feelings of fear consumed me to the point where physical pain made it almost impossible to eat, sleep or have a conversation with anyone. The self doubts that kicked my self esteem to the floor kept me enclosed, behind the closed door of my home, making my world so dark and heavy that it seemed I would never feel normal again.

Then I started praying to “What ever gods may be” and believing I could change the way I think and feel. This forced me to believe the positive words coming out of my mouth and my world started to look brighter. I took control of the only thing I could… myself. I have managed to pick my self esteem up and believe in my dreams again. I was determined not to live in the darkness anymore. I managed to do this without reaching for alcohol or the prescription my doctor handed me when I walked out of her office. She told me I was depressed, but I refused to believe that. I understood life threw me too many curve balls and I was unable to catch them all – at first.

For more information about Unfinished by Suzanne Gravelle, visit and you can follow her journey on her blog –

About Unfinished
This is a true story of a woman who experienced such a profound awakening that she could no longer live the same way, the same life she was just one week before. She could no longer ignore the woman who was screaming to be set free from the ties that bind her to a life she no longer desired or recognized. The transformation to become the woman she really wanted to be has propelled her upon the most remarkable self-discovery journey of her life. She sold her home, gave up her career, kissed her children, grandchildren and friend’s good bye, got into her vehicle and just drove away…ALONE. Where was she going? 30,000km later she finds herself in the most unlikely place to try to piece her life together, trying to make sense of the constant feeling of being UNFINISHED. (To order your copy –

About Suzanne Gravelle
Suzanne Gravelle is 49 Years old and has 3 children, 2 grandchildren who live in Nova Scotia.  At the time this book goes to print she is single and homeless by choice, still travelling, seeking that place of comfort she will eventually call home.
She spent most of her life living in Nova Scotia but her formidable years aged 10-25, were spent living on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. She resigned as a Real Estate Agent in Nova Scotia, to embark upon this most incredible journey, driving, exploring Canada and writing this book. To read Suzanne’s extended bio, visit

Friday, November 18, 2011


HuffPost's QuickRead...
Thanksgiving At Best Buy: Workers Rebel Against Early Black Friday Openings, Shortened Holiday »

Dave Jamieson | November 17, 2011 at 12:01 PM
"In yet another sign of worker frustration over a shortened Thanksgiving holiday, an employee at a Best Buy in Tampa has launched a petition against his employer's decision to open earlier for the Black Friday shopping spree this year, claiming the midnight opening time will eat into workers' holiday time with their families..."

Similar issues are evident at Target, WallMart and other retail giants.Keep one thing in mind, the sales will be there on Friday, Saturday and right up to Christmas Day. Americans need a break from the constant onslaught of the BUY_BUY_BUY message from Wall Street. You don't need most of the junk they sell, and if you do, buy from local small business and not the corporate giants who put profits over family.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Can anyone please explain how raising the interest rates to Italy will help anyone?

I think people need to understand that the Emperor, Wall Street, has new clothes. In both Italy and Greece they have made loans impossible to pay off by raising interest rates. But, they don't lose at all. Either the EU bails them out-Wall Street gets paid, or, the nation defaults and Wall Street gets the spoils. And, to get bailed out, the nations must meet all kinds of requirements-lay off workers, loosen regulations and be indebted to international corporations or risk chaos.

This is also done to consumers. Those who are having financial difficulty get their credit card interest rates doubled, and more. Does this make sense? Does it make sense to raise mortgage rates when a consumer is on the edge? Why would it make sense to raise rates on a nation? While Obama is trying to ease rates for consumers, Banks are doing everything they can to increase fees and keep rates high.

Clearly, Wall Street knows they are in a win-win situation. They will always get their money and they get to dictate public policy. Is this really so hard to see?

Monday, November 7, 2011


From the BBC:
"The Italian government's borrowing cost has risen as fears grow over political uncertainty in Rome.

The yield on Italian 10-year bonds rose from 6.37% to a euro-era high of 6.64%, before retreating to 6.53%.

It is feared that Italy, the eurozone's third biggest economy, could become the next victim of the debt crisis"

If you are having a minor problem paying your bills, and investors then UP your interest rate, won't you have a big problem?

Why are we letting investors control and dominate public policy? Isn't this what happened to the housing market. Loan at low rates to iffy customers and then raise interest rate later leading to foreclosure. These 'investors' are doing the same thing to nations. What is there real agenda? Why are they trying to force defaults and punishing the poor and working classes? Why are they 'nation busting?'

Wednesday, November 2, 2011





WHAT IRONY! The birth place of western democracy, Greece, is basically being told by the West not to be democratic by holding a public referendum on the Greek deficit crisis.

The Greek citizens did not create the crisis, but are being asked to pay the price for the sins of a few politicians and the banks.

Sound familiar? A similar situation occurred in Iceland and the people said no, twice, to paying off bad debts made by the banks. Did the world economy collapse? No. Why should it collapse if the Greeks get the right to say no to big money interests? What is really disturbing is the total lack of concern for people, and the total obsession with ensuring that bankers and investors make profits. This same scenario is happening around the world. Bailout/bonus mania is a disease that just does not respond to medication. The more they get, the more they want, regardless of the consequences to men, women and children. They don't care if you lose your home, can't feed your family, can't afford health care and can't find work.

How long must we sing this song?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


As you may have heard, the "Occupy" movement has declared November 5th Bank Transfer Day!

Consumers are asked to transfer their accounts from the large, greedy mega-banks like BoA, Citi, Wells Fargo, etc. Funds should go to Credit Unions - where you become a shareholder or to community banks. This grew out of recent announcements by big banks that they were going to start charging fees for debit cards and because of their home foreclosures and general anti-people approach to business- taking bailouts, record profits, bonuses, etc.

On a Today Show it was said that while some of these big banks are altering their initial fee plans-because of the outpouring of consumer anger-that they would now turn to fees in other areas. This includes charging a fee to talk to a teller, raising overdraft fees, increasing minimum balances and who knows what else.

Here is another reason to support "Transfer" day. Big banks are global and subject more subject to international events. Look at the Greek debt issue. Further, who really own these banks? If I wanted to bank in China owned bank, I'd go to China and open an account. Further, is it not the banking interests that are demanding public sector layoffs, cuts in regulations, higher taxes for the poor and middle classes?

Local banks are locally owned and controlled. They must have a good reputation or they won't survive. So if you have accounts at the large global banks, make your voice heard and send them the only message they really understand-Money Talks!